Having time to spare, I decided to join the Tuesdays with Dorie blog group. This week's recipe was traditional madeleines. Being relatively new to the baking scene, I pulled an amateur move and burnt my first batch. The recipe calls for the cakes to be cooked for 11-13 minutes, so I set the timer for 12 and walked away. I forgot that I should probably start checking doneness around 9 minutes just to be safe, and paid for it. After eating a couple, I could tell that, minus the char, they would taste delicious, so I made another batch.
The second batch came out much better, but I pulled them out after only 9 minutes and they were still darker than those pictured in Dorie's book. However, after looking around on the internet a bit, I found that many from bakeries were the same color as mine, so I can't have been too far off.
When going to the kitchen store to pick up my madeleine mold, the lady behind the counter kindly asked me who was going to be baking them. After I replied that I was, she smiled and said, "I was hoping that would be your response." I assume they don't get too many 23 year old guys baking little cakes.
The pictures are still coming out fairly amateurish at this point in the blog. I want my rebate check to come in so I can go get a camera, instead of having to borrow my roommate's. Not only do I feel a little awkward taking pictures of my food with his camera, but I also don't know how to get it to focus correctly, like moowie's closeups.
I was also very happy that I got the coveted traditional "bump" on these little cakes the first time around (from reading about these a bit online, I guess they sometimes don't form, or are avoided by pouring smaller portions of batter into the mold). A lot of people in the Tuesdays with Dorie crowd had problems with this, and the only thing I can think of is possible gluten formation. When adding in the flour and butter, I folded by hand until just barely combined (think muffin method). There were still lumps of flour in it, but I left it alone, since they would bake out of it. I'm assuming people who left it in stand mixer until it was homogenous might have issues with the bump. The batter sat in my refrigerator for 3 hours, which was plenty. This recipe will definitely be fun to repeat, and at least now I've learned to be more careful with following baking recipes at face value.
Recipe: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, pp. 166-168